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Going SOHO - going solo

Angela deFreitas

How many times have you considered giving up that awful, pressuring job and working for yourself? Once? Twice? Every month-end when the pay cheque comes? Yes, you know you would love to.

Being your own boss is the ultimate goal of not just you but many who are tired of the routine of a regular 9-5 and who just need that change from being bossed to being the boss.

But before you make such a drastic life-changing decision, understand that studies show that entrepreneurs are born and not made.

Personality traits
So, if you find that you have personality traits such as toughness, resilience, tenacity, courage, innovativeness, dynamism, resourcefulness, passion and persistence, then you have a good chance of making a go of it. All of these are very important personal ingredients which will help you to succeed or fail in the business you choose.

Going it alone can take many forms including simply "doing a business", becoming an entrepreneur (and there is a difference), free lancing, consulting, free agenting and many more. All, however, become very attractive possibilities, whether or not personality traits point in the right direction, when someone is unexpectedly "separated from their job'" or when no job offer is forthcoming.

Whichever you opt for and for whatever reason you may find yourself in the SOHO category. That is small office or home office.

Growing phenomenon
The SOHO is a growing phenomenon, both global and local, as people increasingly move towards small, home-based operations due to the need for people running small businesses to locate themselves somewhere where overheads are not exorbitant.

The SOHO runs the gamut from professionals such as lawyers and doctors serving their surrounding community, skilled workers such as plumbers, masons, cabinetmakers, hairdressers and fashion designers running their own small concerns and even consultants working on outsourced projects and contracts from large corporations.

However, before you even think as far as your SOHO, if you are considering this leap of faith, map out a plan. A plan will be an essential tool in the process. It will help you to clearly outline your thoughts in relation to the concept, nature, structure, direction, size etc. of your business and also the equipment which you will need.

Next week: SOHO basics

Angela deFreitas is General Manager of CHOICES Career Advice and can be contacted at E-mail -; Website -
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